'The Joy of Sex Education' + Bette Davis & Sergei Eisenstein

Joy of Sex Education
Kinky voyeurism of yesteryear: A couple learn about it by watching a wild bird-bunny-bee orgy.


“The Joy of Sex Education” at the bfi Southbank:

“Running the gamut from syphilitic soldiers in WW1 to puberty pep-talks for girls to the government's infamous AIDS awareness campaigns, this jaunt through 90 years of sex education films aims to enlighten, entertain and, above all, encourage you to subjugate your passions for the moral health of the nation.

“Many of the early films highlight Britain's horror at the very thought of sex and sexuality. Euphamisms [sic] abound and, if you can get away with making your point with the aid of a few birds or rabbits, why not?”


Well, little has changed in much of the world in regard to human sexuality, especially among religious freaks and political ideologues of both right and left. In any case, here are a few cinematic Sex Education suggestions found at the BFI website:

  • Whatsoever a Man Soweth (1917) - A warning to WW1 soldiers about the perils of fraternizing with loose women.
  • Deferred Payment (1929) - A turbulent tale of seamen and syphilis.
  • The Irresponsibles (1929) - Careless women share nasty diseases with their loved ones.
  • The Mystery of Marriage (1932) - Birds, bees and bunnies show us how it's done.
  • How To Tell (1935) - Children learn the facts of life.
  • Six Little Jungle Boys (1945) - Six men go off to war, but one is tempted by the sensual pleasures of the East…
  • Don't Be Like Brenda! (1973) - Oh, Brenda! She behaved foolishly. And now she's suffering the consequences.

Glasgow Film Festival

Among the many sections of the 2008 Glasgow Film Festival, to be held from February 14-24, are Great Scots, Once Upon a Time in the East (that's Eastern Europe; above, top photo, Jan Sverák's Czech comedy-drama Empties), It's a Wonderful World (world cinema), Fright Fest, The State of Independents (above, bottom photo, Alex Holdridge's In Search of a Midnight Kiss), and Bette Davis, whose centennial is being celebrated this year.

Among the scheduled films are Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream, with Ewan McGregor and Colin FarrellGiuseppe Tornatore's David di Donatello winner The Unknown; Roy Andersson's Guldbagge winner You the Living; and Michael Haneke's Funny Games remake, starring Tim Roth and Naomi Watts.

The Bette Davis tribute, sponsored by Turner Classic Movies UK, will feature some of the actress' best-known films, including Now, Voyager (above, with Paul Henreid), The Little Foxes>The LetterThe Old MaidWhat Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, and The Whales of August.

From 'Battleship Potemkin' to 'Alexandra': 'Envisioning Russia'

“Envisioning Russia: A Century of Filmmaking” (January 25 February 14, 2008) at New York Citys Film Society of Lincoln Center:

“Although early film shows took place in Russia soon after the invention of cinema (Maxim Gorkys book In the Kingdom of Shadows, published July 4, 1896, is one of the most beautiful early descriptions of cinema), continuous, serious film production was not established in Russia until 1908. Thus, the Russian Ministry of Culture has designated 2008 as the centenary of Russian Cinema. We could have devoted an entire years programming to the occasion and still merely have scratched the surface of this most innovative, contradictory and always provocative cinema. Together with our partner, Seagull Films, we focus on the work of Mosfilm, the largest and most productive film studio during the Soviet era, which remains Russias most important film institution even today. At its height, Mosfilm was the USSRs Hollywood, hosting the most popular stars, creating the most lavish productions and generally setting the pace for the rest of Soviet cinema. Eisenstein, Romm, Tarkovsky, Konchalovsky and Shepitko all created masterpieces there, while the extraordinary range of Soviet production was on full display.”

The retrospective includes Sergei Eisensteins Battleship Potemkin; Cannes Film Festival winner The Cranes Are Flying; Academy Award winners Dersu Uzala and Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears; and Andrei Tarkovskys The Mirror.

Special Series Pass ($40 for the public, $30 for Film Society members limited availability) admits one person to five titles in the series except for the screening of Alexandra at 7:15pm on Saturday, January 26. The pass is available for purchase (cash only) at the Walter Reade Theater box office.

More information about the films is available at the Film Society of Lincoln Center site.

“Envisioning Russia” Schedule


Alexandra by Aleksandr Sokurov

Alexandra / Aleksandra
Aleksandr Sokurov, Russia 2007; 92m
Sat Jan 26: 7:15

The Ascent / Voskhozhdeniye
Larisa Shepitko, USSR 1976; 110m
Wed Feb 13: 4:15 & 8:45

At Home Among Strangers, Stranger at Home / Svoy sredi chuzhikh, chuzhoy sredi svoikh
Nikita Mikhalkov, USSR 1974; 97m
Mon Feb 11: 4:15 & 8:20
Thu Feb 14: 1

The Battleship Potemkin / Bronenosets Potyomkin
Sergei M. Eisenstein, USSR 1925; 80m
Sat Jan 26: 1
Wed Jan 30: 6:15

Bed and Sofa - Abram Room

Bed and Sofa / Tretya Meshchanskaya
Abram Room, USSR 1927; 74m
Sat Feb 2: 5:30

Cargo 200 / Gruz 200
Aleksei Balabanov, Russia 2007; 90m
Fri Jan 25: 8:45
Sun Jan 27: 5:15
Wed Jan 30: 4

Carnival Night / Karnavalnaya noch
Eldar Ryazanov, USSR 1956; 78m
Sat Feb 2: 7:15
Tue Feb 5: 2:15 & 6:15

Courier / Kurer
Karen Shakhnazarov, USSR 1986; 88m
Sun Jan 27: 3:15
Thu Feb 7: 9

Tatyana Samojlova, Aleksey Balatov - The Cranes Are Flying

The Cranes Are Flying / Letyat zhuravli
Mikhail Kalatozov, USSR 1957; 98m
Tue Feb 5: 4 & 7:50

Dersu Uzala
Akira Kurosawa, USSR/Japan, 1975; 141m
Sun Feb 10: 5:15
Tue Feb 12: 2 & 8:30

Elegy of Life: Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya / Elegiya zhizni. Rostropovich. Vishnevskaya
Aleksandr Sokurov, Russia 2006; 101m
Sun Jan 27: 1
Tue Jan 29: 4

The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks / Neobychainye priklyucheniya mistera Vesta v strane bolshevikov
Lev Kuleshov, USSR 1924; 95m
Sat Feb 2: 1:30

Happiness / Schastye
Aleksandr Medvedkin, USSR 1934; 66m
Tue Jan 29: 8:15
Wed Jan 30: 2:30

Jazzman / My iz dzhaza
Karen Shakhnazarov, USSR 1983; 88m
Sun Jan 27: 7:15
Wed Feb 6: 4

Jewish Luck / Jidische Glickn
Aleksandr Granovsky, USSR 1925; 88m
Sun Feb 3: 2

Jolly Fellows or Moscow Laughs / Vesyolye rebyata
Grigori Aleksandrov, USSR 1934; 96m
Fri Jan 25: 2
Tue Jan 29: 2 & 6:15

July Rain / Iyulskiy dozhd
Marlen Khutsiyev, USSR 1966; 109m
Sat Feb 9: 2 & 6

The Letter Never Sent / Neotpravlennoye pismo
Mikhail Kalatozov, USSR 1959; 97m
Sat Jan 26: 5:15
Wed Feb 6: 2
Fri Feb 8: 8:15

The Mirror / Zerkalo
Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR 1974; 108m
Fri Jan 25: 4
Wed Feb 13: 2 & 6:30

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears / Moskva slezam ne verit
Vladimir Menshov, USSR 1980; 150m
Sat Feb 9: 8:15
Thu Feb 14: 2:45

The New Moscow / Novaya Moskva
Aleksandr Medvedkin, USSR 1938; 80m
Fri Jan 25: 6:30
Thu Jan 31: 8:15
Sun Feb 3: 4

The Russian Question / Russkiy vopros
Mikhail Romm, USSR 1947; 91m
Sun Feb 3: 6
Mon Feb 4: 2 & 6:15

Aleksandr Ptushko, USSR 1952; 90m
Sat Feb 2: 9
Mon Feb 4: 4 & 8:15

The Thirteen / Trinadtsat
Mikhail Romm, USSR 1936; 87m
Wed Jan 30: 8
Thu Jan 31: 2 & 6:15

Tractor Drivers / Traktoristy
Ivan Pyryev, USSR 1939; 88m
Sat Feb 2: 3:30
Sun Feb 3: 8

Traveling with Pets - Vera Storozheva

Traveling with Pets / Puteshestvie s domashnimi zhivotnymi
Vera Storozheva, Russia 2007; 97m
Sat Jan 26: 9:30
Sun Jan 27: 9:10
Thu Jan 31: 4

Uncle Vanya / Dyadya Vanya
Andrei Konchalovsky, USSR 1970; 104m
Sun Feb 10: 7:45
Mon Feb 11: 2 & 6:15

Walking the Streets of Moscow / Ya shagayu po Moskve
Georgi Daneliya, USSR 1963; 78m
Thu Feb 7: 1
Sat Feb 9: 4:15

White Sun of the Desert / Beloe solntse pustyni
Vladimir Motyl, USSR 1969; 85m
Sat Jan 26: 3
Fri Feb 8: 1 & 6:15

'The Joy of Sex Education' + Bette Davis & Sergei Eisenstein © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Leave a comment about ''The Joy of Sex Education' + Bette Davis & Sergei Eisenstein'


Don't waste time and energy disagreeing with and/or being deeply offended by the presentation of factual information.

On the other hand, it's perfectly okay to disagree with and/or, if you're so inclined, to be deeply offended by the views & opinions (and/or likes & dislikes) found on this site. And to let us know about any omissions or, heaven forbid, errors.

Just bear in mind that *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative.

In other words: Feel free to add something reasonable & coherent – AND fact-based – to the discussion.

Abusive/bigoted, trollish/inflammatory, baseless (spreading misinformation, whether intentionally or not), spammy, and/or just plain deranged comments will be zapped and offenders may be banned.

And finally, links found in comments will generally be deleted.

Most recent comments listed on top.

2 Comments to 'The Joy of Sex Education' + Bette Davis & Sergei Eisenstein

  1. Kate Griffiths

    Dear Mark
    We're producing a programme for UK broadcaster five on the history of Sex Educational/Instructional programmes. Would love to hear about the films in your presentation. Please get in touch. Thanks. Kate

  2. The “Joy of Sex Education” sounds fascinating. I have done a similar presentation with American films. I would love to share our films and experiences. They sound very similar. The notion of sex being pleasurable did not surface in sex education film until around 1970.